1.9m farmers, 86,000 IDPs benefit from USAID programme

No fewer than 1.9 million small holder farmers benefitted from the USAID/Nigeria Maximising Agricultural Revenue and Key Enterprises in Targeted Sites II (MARKETS II) programme in 26 states across the country.

This is contained in a document issued by USAID at a stakeholders’ interactive forum to precede the winding down of the five-year programme in Abuja.

The document stated that the benefitting farmers generated about N396 billion from the sale of seven crops during the duration of the programme.

The document also said that no fewer than 86,000 vulnerable households including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) benefitted directly or indirectly from the programme.

It said that the programme focused on seven commodity value chains of rice, cocoa, cassava, sorghum, maize, soybean and aquaculture.

It listed the 26 benefitting states to include: Sokoto, Kebbi, Kano, Kaduna, Lagos, Enugu, Edo, Delta, Benue, Taraba, Abia and Imo.

Others are: Jigawa, Nasarawa, Kogi, Ebonyi, Cross River, Anambra, Bayelsa, Rivers, Ondo, Oyo, Kwara, Akwa Ibom and Niger.

According to the document, USAID spent 64.9 million dollars on the programme aimed at improving the income, nutrition and food security of poor Nigerian rural smallholder farmers.

The document stated that rural and agricultural loans amounting to N53 billion were disbursed to actualise the programme.

It noted that in the course of the programme, wet season rice farmers produced over 1.7 million tons of rice, while dry season farmers produced 429,800 tons of rice.

The two set of rice farmers jointly generated over N181 billion

According to the document, cocoa farmers who participated in the programme produced 129 tons of cocoa and generated over N79 billion in sales.

Over the life of the project, cassava farmers produced 583,852 tons of cassava and generated N39 million in sales while aquaculture farmers produced 131 tons of fish and generated N63 billion in sales. Sorghum farmers produced 207 tons of sorghum and generated over N12 billion; soybean farmers produced 126 tons of soybean and generated over N9 billion while maize farmers produced 59 tons of maize and generated over N11 billion in sales,’’ the document said.

MARKETS II is a five-year programme aimed at enhancing access of small holder farmers to increased income, ready markets, better inputs (improved seeds and optimal fertiliser use).

It is also to ensure adequate financing and efficient management of water and pesticides.

The programme, which was launched in 2012 by USAID in collaboration with the Federal Government, would wind down in 2017.

 

Mazino Dickson